The semiconductor shortage has companies scrambling to find ways to somehow increase production in the current situation. For some companies, that means considering switching production operations with business partners like AMD, hoping to switch from using TSMC to Samsung for manufacturing needs. But with wiggles and detours happening so often, it looks like Qualcomm may be doing the opposite.
reporter Electricity, Qualcomm has placed foundry orders for its upcoming 3nm processors. Products with these processors won’t be released until next year, but production is said to have started late last year and is exclusive to Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC.
The order has not been confirmed by Qualcomm, but the move is said to be in response to Samsung’s current production difficulties. There are reports that the Samsung foundry is only seeing a 35% yield for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, while the Exynos 2200 could be even lower.
It makes sense that a company like Qualcomm might get nervous about the numbers and put its trust in another company’s fab instead. The company is good at looking to the future, like skipping Wi-Fi 6E and going straight to 7. However, it still ordered 7nm RF chips through Samsung, so the relationship between the two companies is clearly not over.
In fact, according to the report, the higher but still disappointing yields for the Snapdragon chips were due to Qualcomm support to help troubleshoot and resolve issues. Samsung has responded to these issues and is currently conducting an audit of the Samsung foundry to find out.
At the same time hope that TSMC can handle the demand. Fabless businesses like Qualcomm and AMD have brought in big bucks for companies like Samsung and TSMC, though there’s still plenty of work to do amid a semiconductor shortage. TSMC will likely win big on these contracts, and we hope to see the supply shortage end soon, but the industry still has skills shortages and environmental issues to deal with.